1989 Fiesta Bowl
Notre Dame 34, West Virginia 21
Offensive Player of the Game: Tony Rice, Notre Dame
Defensive Player of the Game: Frank Stams, Notre Dame
Sportsmanship Award: Chris Parker, West Virginia
Head Coaches: Lou Holtz, Notre Dame - Don Nehlen, West Virginia
Weather: Cloudy, light rain
Payout Per Team: $3,000,000
The 1989 Fiesta Bowl featured top-ranked Notre Dame and No. 3 West Virginia, the second game in three years that decided college football’s national championship. The Fiesta Bowl was back in the spotlight.
The Fighting Irish exploded to a 23-6 halftime lead over the Mountaineers and never looked back, recording a 34-21 victory and the national championship.
Notre Dame jumped out to a 16-0 lead and didn’t let West Virginia closer than 13 points the rest of the game, as the Irish captured their 11th national title.
Billy Hackett began the game’s scoring by kicking a 45-yard field goal on Notre Dame’s first possession. The Irish scored on a one-yard run by Anthony Johnson and added a five-yard run by Rodney Culver to take the 16-0 lead.
The Mountaineers got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Charlie Bau-mann. But the “Rocket,” Raghib Ismail, caught a 29-yard TD pass from Tony Rice to increase the Irish lead to 23-3. Baumann kicked a 32-yarder as the half ended.
The Mountaineers scored 15 second half points, but Notre Dame scored 11 points of their own to claim the victory. The Irish racked up 455 total yards to West Virginia’s 282.